Objective: Central obesity is a prerequisite for the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Precise measurement of visceral fat by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) has been validated. The aim of this study was to investigate the diagnostic performance of BIA in MetS and validate the best cutoff in a large adult cohort.
Materials and Methods: The study was performed on the MELEN Study cohort—a prospectively designed survey on the prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors in Turkish adults. The final cohort consisted of 2219 participants. Weight and visceral body composition were measured without shoes in light indoor clothes using a bioimpedance analyzer (Omron BF 510; Omron Corp, Kyoto, Japan). Plasma concentrations of cholesterol, insulin, fasting triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, glucose, and other biochemical variables were measured. The diagnostic performance of visceral fat measurement by BIA in patients with MetS was assessed.
Results: Metabolic syndrome was detected in 751 participants (520 women and 231 men with a mean age of 55  years; 34% of the whole study population). Total body fat and visceral fat levels were higher in subjects with MetS. Correlation analyses showed that there were significant correlations between anthropometric and BIA measurements. Receiver operating curve characteristics of visceral adiposity revealed the best cutoff values as greater than 12% for men and greater than 9% for women. The diagnostic performance was good in both sexes (the sensitivity/specificity and area-under-the-curve values were 76%/75% and 0.83 for men and 83%/67% and 0.81 for women, respectively).
Conclusions: Visceral fat measured with BIA is an easily applicable and useful method for identifying people with MetS. The best cutoff values were higher than 12% for men and higher than 9% for women.